Doll’s Eyes Reflex in Brain Trauma
When attempting to determine brain death, there are many clinical and radiological tests that surgeons and neurosurgeons use. One of the most reliable is the doll’s eyes or oculocephalic reflex. This test screens for activity in the brain stem areas of the midbrain, pons, and medulla, which are responsible for basic activities like breathing or respiration.
The test is performed by suddenly turning the patient’s head and recording what the eyes do. In patients with brainstem injury and in patients who are awake and conscious, when the head is suddenly turned the eyes move in synchrony with it. In patients who are not conscious but whose brainstem is uninjured, the eyes lag behind similar to a doll’s eyes when the head is suddenly turned.
This maneuver can only be tried in patients who have been ruled out for cervical spine injuries.
Copyright 2006 Insidesurgery.com